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Aston’s students excel in volunteering

SVW

9 March 2015

Students from Aston participated in Student Volunteer Week (SVW), a five-day programme with activities including, visits to a food bank, a charity cake sale and helping the homeless day.


The student-led national initiative (Monday 23 to Friday 27), provided a week of one-off volunteering opportunities with various charities and organisations, which aims to encourage students to volunteer on a more regular basis.

Planned by Aston’s Outreach department, the week kicked off with the ‘Food Drive Launch’. There were three collection points around the University, resulting in 67.5kg (weight worth) of food donations which were then delivered to the Aston and Nechells Food Bank in Birmingham.

On Tuesday, SVW teamed up with the Professional Mentoring Scheme, supermarket chain Marks and Spencer’s and the charity, The Conservation Volunteers in organising ‘Conserve our Community’ day.  The one day project involved students create woodland walkways and extend growing areas at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Damilola Odele, a student volunteer, said: “I’ve never done anything like this before, the experience was enriching!” Muhammad Abdullah added: “I really enjoyed the day, it was great to help others while studying at university.”

The ‘Cakes for a Cause’ bake sale raised a total of £150 for the Aston ‘A Nice Time on Saturdays’ (ANTS) project. The ANTS project is student-led scheme in collaboration with Edwards Trust. The scheme initiative has students work with children aged 7-12 who have suffered a loss of a family member, spending time together in activities such as sightseeing in Birmingham.

Students also had the chance to network with worldwide registered charities at the ‘Volunteer Fair’ on Thursday. Charities ranged from Oxfam to the British Heart Foundation, giving students an insight into the work they do and also the opportunity to sign up with their charity.

‘Hungry for Change’ ended the week with students volunteering at the Aston and Nechells Food Bank to distribute food and clothes to local people in crisis. A number of students visited the Aston and Nechells Warehouse to deliver Aston’s food collection and gain an insight into how food banks are run.   

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For further media information, please contact Naheeda Akhtar, University Communications on 0121 204 5004 or n.akhtar18@aston.ac.uk